Understanding the momentous role that genres play in the history of contemporary music is essential for every songwriter. Across six weeks, this online course explores a selection of musical genres, identifying the key songwriting techniques within each, and investigating their historical and cultural impact across the ages.

You’ll study five different genres in-depth, undertaking weekly songwriting assignments, and receiving video feedback on your submitted work from your tutor. By the end of the course you’ll have developed five new genre-specific song ideas, plus will have completed one finished song in a genre of your choice. You’ll also undertake a research project, delving more deeply into one particular genre, and will take part in a series of interviews with industry professionals highly experienced in writing across the genres covered.

Songwriting: Content and Genre is a highly practical course designed by ICMP tutors and industry professionals Sophie DanielsTim ElsenburgJonathan Whiskerd and hosted by tutor Megan O’Neill. ICMP has an acclaimed Songwriting department, being one of the first institutions in the world to offer a dedicated bachelor’s degree in Songwriting, with this team responsible for the development of that course.

Weekly Video Feedback
+121 lesson time 

Across the six weeks, you’ll access the course material via weekly video lessons and will be supported in your journey with plenty of one-to-one time with tutor Megan to discuss your approach to your coursework, clarify anything in your weekly lessons, and discuss the video feedback you receive for each assignment. Despite being online, the course will possess a strong classroom feel, with regular personal interaction, class discussion and student engagement encouraged. You also retain access to the course content at the end of the six-week period so you can review it whenever you need to.

What’s covered?

Module 1: Introduction to the relationship between genre and content

In this module, you’ll develop a deeper understanding of the history of genres and their origin journeys, and will learn how to be analytical in your discussions surrounding them.

Module 2: Pop music

This module will see you examine the history and context of pop music, its lyrics, songwriting techniques and many different subgenres.

Module 3: Folk and country

In this module, you’ll explore the breadth and depth of the niche yet hugely popular folk/country genre, particularly focusing on lyrics and song structure.

Module 4: Electronica

This module covers the history and societal context of the rise of electronic music, including the early years of hip-hop, ‘80s synth music, sampling, the birth of rave culture and more.

Module 5: Rock

As one of the most varied contemporary music genres, you’ll explore the full scope of rock – from blues, punk and glam to indie, metal and beyond.

Module 6: Soul and R&B

This module explores the colourful history of soul and R&B, along with their tried and tested songwriting techniques, genre boundaries and subtle nuances.

Course start dates

  • Tuesday 10th August 2021


WAS £199.99

NOW £149.25

Buy Now

Want to pay later?
Choose PayPal Credit to get 0% interest for 4 months on this purchase.
Eligible customers only, see PayPal's terms and conditions for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Course Terms & Conditions    

Could you be eligible for a free place on this course?

We're offering a bursary for up to 60 students on a range of our short music courses for those who have no previous experience of Higher Education.


Key facts

  • Weekly private video feedback with an ICMP songwriting expert
  • 121 lesson time during your course
  • Structured 6 week online course including high quality HD videos and support materials
  • Student discussion forum
  • Download all course materials
  • 6 week course
  • Next start date: Tuesday 10th August 2021
Course Authors

Songwriting: Content & Genre was authored by successful songwriters and songwriting teachers Sophie Daniels, Tim Elsenburg and Jonathan Whiskerd. Together they have written for or or worked with Simon Cowell, Jamie Cullum, Westlife, Kelly Clarkson, Il Divo, Barbra Streisand, Joshua Blair (Mark Ronson, Bruno Mars), Paul Stanborough (Guy Chambers, Cathy Dennis), Bruce Hughes (Jason Mraz) and Will Hicks (Ed Sheeran, Lily Allen).


This course is a natural extension of ICMP’s Songwriting: The Creative Process programme and would suit any songwriter keen to learn how to create songs across a range of different genres. You must be able to accompany yourself to some level, either live or through recording, and be comfortable in sharing your work with other writers.


By phone:
020 7328 0222

By email: